Finding Saturday Salvation
My apologies for not writing more. The reasons will be obvious soon enough, and I think you'll like them, or at least be warmer and tell time quicker.
Anyway, I must confess that my first sports love is baseball. On the other hand, I have found a new passion, skeet shooting.....no, seriously, college football.
I had always watched college football, a fan of the Michigan Wolverines growing up in an area where college football has the interest of tiddly winks and the LPGA. I had always admired the intensity and electric atmosphere that 95,000 people dressed in the same color can bring to a sporting event. Yeah, the players changed every year, but the coaches didn't and neither did the kinds of fans.
We started this blogging and podcast thing roughly a year ago, and while I liked college football, I can't say I was attached to it.
I can't say I'm not attached to it anymore. In fact, I can't wait for the season to start.
As a kid, as most kid sports junkies do, I followed everything with the intensity of a hunter during deer season. As I got older, real life takes over and you have to narrow how much you can intensely follow. For me, that was baseball. Over the years, my interest in the NFL has severely dropped off. I'm not a fan of parity. I could really care less about fantasy teams, and it bothers me that the concept of team comes after the concept of stats. While the quality of play in the NFL remains high, it's boring. It isn't original anymore. I love watching Tom Brady and a few others that excel at football, but there are other things on my television sometimes on Sunday afternoons besides the NFL.
When Brian started the podcast, and since my site was hosting it, and that he, Charlie, and I are very friendly, I said I would take part. Man, I'm glad I did. I started watching with a more critical eye. I never wanted to sound inept, especially on a show that had three others who knew, and know, their stuff cold. It took about two Saturday afternoons to really start enjoying myself, transforming from someone who could bluff through a conversation into a true fan.
You might get goosebumps a couple times a year watching the NFL, which is about six times less then what I had during the fourth quarter of the USC-Notre Dame game last year. Which came at the exact same time as Michigan handed Penn State their only loss of the year. Forty-five minutes of incredible, electric television. Everything that is right with sports came front and center in that hour. Genuine drama and enthusiasm. And that feeling repeated itself on every Saturday thereafter.
The strive for perfection, the desire and heart shown by kids who will never make a dime on the sport, the raw emotion, and the sheer tradition rekindled my football fire. The NFL has it's place, but it doesn't convey what is good about why we follow sports. The NFL is your brother, college football is like your first girlfriend. You can have a good time with your brother, but you'll never forget the times with your girlfriend, even being good.
A friend of mine told me years ago that baseball is the national pastime, but football is the national passion. I am so ready for some passion.